U.S. History 201

Early Colonization to Reconstruction
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  • Lectures 207
  • Length 11.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English, captions
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About This Course

Published 1/2016 English Closed captions available

Course Description

"U.S. History 201" is a comprehensive introduction to United States History from Early Colonization to Reconstruction. This self-paced online course combines the real world immediacy and intimacy of professionally-produced video with the free, open-source, peer-reviewed textbook "U.S. History" from OpenStax College. Hear from noted historians and scholars - including Stephen Aron, Bernard Bailyn, Helena Wall, Estelle Freedman, Samuel H. Beer, Barbara Oberg and others - who together provide a comprehensive and balanced examination of America's rich heritage.

The course covers everything you can expect to see in an introductory college or high school course in United States History:

  • Early Colonization
  • Imperial Reforms and Colonial Protests
  • America's War for Independence
  • Creating Republican Governments
  • The Industrial, Market, and Transportation Revolutions
  • Jacksonian Democracy
  • Westward Expansion
  • The Antebellum South
  • The Civil War
  • Reconstruction

Enjoy more than 200 professionally-produced and engaging video segments - each approximately three to five minutes in duration - that incorporate subject expert interviews, dramatic recreations, photographs and artifacts, and historic images and illustrations.

U.S. History 201 can be adopted "as is" for use as a complete online course in Early American History, as a quality supplement to existing history courses, or as a media-rich resource for review and test preparation (e.g. CLEP Exam).

What are the requirements?

  • System requirements: PC, laptop or mobile device (with Udemy app) and broadband connectivity.
  • Course requirements: There are no pre-requisite or other course requirements.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Analyze the causes, course, and outcome of the Civil War.
  • Analyze the historical experiences among diverse groups of Americans.
  • Assess, analyze and discuss the American colonial experience under English rule.
  • Identify nineteenth century reform movements how they influenced racial relations, gender roles and the social hierarchy.
  • Explain Manifest Destiny and the consequences of westward expansion.
  • Analyze the major events and ideas that gave rise to the American Revolution.
  • Explain why slavery became the dominant labor system in the southern colonies and how it impacted American social, political and economic life.

What is the target audience?

  • Professors of United States History looking to adopt low-cost, media-rich supplemental materials for their students.
  • Students currently enrolled in (or considering enrolling in) United States History, American History, High School or AP History classes.
  • Anyone with in an interest in United States History.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Introductory Video and Course Description
01:34

US History 201 (to 1877)


More than just a collection of dates to memorize, US History 201 weaves the tapestry that is America's history from its political, social, cultural, and global threads, beginning with the migration of nomadic peoples across the Bering Strait thousands of years ago. As Europe was awakening from its medieval slumber, explorers dispatched in search of an ocean route to Asia found, instead, the Americas and opened up a whole new world of possibilities. The Conquistadores arrived in search of riches, the Jesuits in search of souls, the Pilgrims in search of religious freedom, and the countries they represented sought to colonize. Of the many countries that did establish colonies during early explorations, Spain would become dominant primarily in South America; England in the American colonies. The colonists would ultimately find their future in freedom, and fate conspired to facilitate this goal by assembling such great minds as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and James Madison to lay the foundation for a great nation. Students should emerge from this course of study with an appreciation of America's history, the dynamic forces and cultures that have shaped it, and its importance on both a global and personal level.

Section 2: Early America (1492-1650)
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapters 01 and 02

OpenStax College, U.S. History. (© 2014 Rice University)

Download full text book for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11740/latest/

**********************************************************************************

KEY TERMS

Beringia- an ancient land bridge linking Asia and North America

Black Death- two strains of the bubonic plague that simultaneously swept western Europe in the fourteenth century, causing the death of nearly half the population

Black Legend- Spain's reputation as bloodthirsty conquistadors

Calvinism- a branch of Protestantism started by John Calvin, emphasizing human powerlessness before an omniscient God and stressing the idea of predestination

Columbian Exchange- the movement of plants, animals, and diseases across the Atlantic due to European exploration of the Americas

commodification- the transformation of something—for example, an item of ritual significance—into a commodity with monetary value

Crusades- a series of military expeditions made by Christian Europeans to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries

chasquis- Incan relay runners used to send messages over great distances

chattel slavery- a system of servitude in which people are treated as personal property to be bought and sold

chinampas- floating Aztec gardens consisting of a large barge woven from reeds, filled with dirt and floating on the water, allowing for irrigation

encomienda- legal rights to native labor as granted by the Spanish crown

feudal society- a social arrangement in which serfs and knights provided labor and military service to noble lords, receiving protection and land use in return

Hispaniola- the island in the Caribbean, present-day Haiti and Dominican Republic, where Columbus first landed and established a Spanish colony

indulgences- documents for purchase that absolved sinners of their errant behavior

Inquisition- a campaign by the Catholic Church to root out heresy, especially among converted Jews and Muslims

joint stock company- a business entity in which investors provide the capital and assume the risk in order to reap significant returns

Koran- the sacred book of Islam, written by the prophet Muhammad in the seventh century

matriarchy- a society in which women have political power

mercantilism- the protectionist economic principle that nations should control trade with their colonies to ensure a favorable balance of trade

mita- the Incan labor tax, with each family donating time and work to communal projects

mourning wars- raids or wars that tribes waged in eastern North America in order to replace members lost to smallpox and other diseases

Pilgrims- Separatists, led by William Bradford, who established the first English settlement in New England

polygyny- the practice of taking more than one wife

Protestant Reformation- the schism in Catholicism that began with Martin Luther and John Calvin in the early sixteenth century

privateers- sea captains to whom the British government had given permission to raid Spanish ships at will

probanza de mérito- proof of merit: a letter written by a Spanish explorer to the crown to gain royal patronage

Puritans- a group of religious reformers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries who wanted to “purify” the Church of England by ridding it of practices associated with the Catholic Church and advocating greater purity of doctrine and worship

quipu- an ancient Incan device for recording information, consisting of variously colored threads knotted in different ways

Reconquista- Spain's nearly eight-hundred-year holy war against Islam, which ended in 1492

Roanoke- the first English colony in Virginia, which mysteriously disappeared sometime between 1587 and 1590

Separatists- a faction of Puritans who advocated complete separation from the Church of England

serf- a peasant tied to the land and its lord

smallpox- a disease that Europeans accidentally brought to the New World, killing millions of Indians, who had no immunity to the disease

sugarcane- one of the primary crops of the Americas, which required a tremendous amount of labor to cultivate

04:46

Early Inhabitants of North America

Long before Europeans venture out into the waters of the Atlantic to see what lay beyond the boundaries of their continent; tribes of Native Americans inhabit the land now known as North America. At first the animals and plants of the land provide the sustenance necessary for survival; agriculture only appears after 500 A.D. As groups of people move across the land they adapt to different the environments and begin to distinguish themselves; one group from another.


Stoll, Steven Brian, Ph.D, Yale University

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies

Trafzer, Clifford, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside; author of As Long as the Grass Shall Grow and Rivers Flow

White, Richard, Ph.D., Byrne Professor of American History; Stanford University


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:47

Early Europeans Look Westward

In the early 15th century, Europe is a patchwork of small kingdoms and principalities in competition with powerful Moslem nations. Enterprising mariners seeking to establish trade with Asia look for routes that will avoid potential conflict with these nations. One of the most venturesome, Christopher Columbus gains financial support from King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain to try a westward route. Excerpts from his journal provide a narrative for his journey.


Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies


Download the transcript for this video below:

04:30

The Spanish Conquistadors

In time, Spanish explorers stop thinking of the Americas as simply an obstacle en route to Asia. They see it as a potential source of wealth, and claim the entire New World for Spain. Spanish monarchs do not have their own military force. Instead they hire adelantados and conquistadors to undertake the process of colonization and subjugation on their behalf for a share of the profits.


Cortes, Carlos, Ph.D, University of California--Riverside

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies

Trafzer, Clifford, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside, author of As Long as the Grass Shall Grow and Rivers Flow

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:19

Religious Motivation for Spanish Colonization

The Franciscan missionaries are appalled by the violence of the conquistadors and lobby the king to reduce their power. The Indian population sees an advantage to accepting the Franciscans as protectors, but realize that this too will come with a price. The Franciscans allow local governments to coexist with the new order as long as there is acceptance of some form of Catholicism.


Cortes, Carlos, Ph.D, University of California--Riverside

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:40

Spanish Engage in Slavery to Fill Labor Needs

Although the conquistadors continue to search for riches in other Aztec-like empires, they soon find a more tangible incentive in the conscription of a slave labor force for their Caribbean colonies. The Spanish and the Portuguese are among the first to bring in slaves from the African continent. Some of these expeditions include forays into North America to increase the slave catch. That may have been Ponce de Leon's motive rather than a search for the Fountain of Youth.


Aron, Stephen, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, author of Worlds Together, Worlds Apart

Moss, Alfred, Ph.D., University of Maryland, co-author of From Slavery to Freedom

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:07

Spanish Approach to Colonization Ignites Indian Uprisings

Small numbers of farmers, artisans, and government officials also migrate from Spain to the New World in the 16th and 17th centuries. Survival is difficult, but those who do withstand the challenges of the New World are those who align themselves with Native American tribes. It should be noted, however, that Spain's primary purpose in colonizing North America is to exploit the Indian population not establish permanent colonies. A variety of Pueblo tribes unite in a rebellion against Spanish rule in 1680 and drive the Spanish out of New Mexico.


Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion

White, Richard, Ph.D., Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University, author of The Middle Ground


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:40

Impact of Spanish Colonization on Native Populations

Two centuries of conflict leave its mark on both Native American and Spanish cultures. The Indian population is ravaged not only by warfare and enslavement, but also by diseases introduced with the arrival of Europeans. Europeans also introduce the horse to North America which later fosters plains nomadism. Much of the interaction between cultures results in adaptations and the emergence of syncratic cultures--blends of both worlds. By the end of the 16th century the Spanish hierarchy decides that further exploration in North America is not worth the trouble.


Kupperman, Karen Ordahl, Ph.D., Silver Professor of History, New York University

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies

White, Richard, Ph.D., Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University, author of The Middle Ground


Download the transcript for this video below:

Check Your Understanding
10 questions
Section 3: Colonial Societies (1500-1700)
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 03

OpenStax College, U.S. History. (© 2014 Rice University)

Download full text book for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11740/latest/

**********************************************************************************

KEY TERMS

headright system- a system in which parcels of land were granted to settlers who could pay their own way to Virginia

indenture- a labor contract that promised young men, and sometimes women, money and land after they worked for a set period of years

Jesuits- members of the Society of Jesus, an elite Catholic religious order founded in the 1540s to spread Catholicism and to combat the spread of Protestantism

Middle Passage- the perilous, often deadly transatlantic crossing of slave ships from the African coast to the New World

maroon communities- groups of runaway slaves who resisted recapture and eked a living from the land

musket- a light, long-barreled European gun

patroonships- large tracts of land and governing rights granted to merchants by the Dutch West India Company in order to encourage colonization

repartimiento- a Spanish colonial system requiring Indian towns to supply workers for the colonizers

Timucua- the native people of Florida, whom the Spanish displaced with the founding of St. Augustine, the first Spanish settlement in North America

wampum- shell beads used in ceremonies and as jewelry and currency

02:03

The Social and Economic Status of England in the 16th Century

England in the 16th century is a country caught in a web of social and economic upheaval. Battles with its European neighbors, religious clashes at home, and the dual curse of unemployment and unbridled population growth persuade the country's leaders to look beyond their borders to the wealth that foreign lands might hold. The question is, as a small and relatively poor country, how can England hope to compete?


Kupperman, Karen Ordahl, Ph.D. Silver Professor of History, New York University, author of Indians and the English

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D. University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:56

France and the Netherlands Attempt to Establish Presence in North America

In the 16th century a pirate base established by the French on the Florida coast irritates the powerful Spanish. They quickly dispatch an expedition to seize control of the region and establish a fort at St. Augustine. The French then turn their attention to the St. Lawrence Valley in Canada where they develop a thriving fur trade with the Indians. The Dutch challenge Spanish power by establishing commercial ventures in such faraway places as Indonesia, Cape Town in South Africa, and New Netherlands on the eastern seaboard of North America.


Kupperman, Karen Ordahl, Ph.D. Silver Professor of History, New York University, author of Indians and the English

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D. University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:11

Roanoke, the First English Colony

The English use the "black legend of Spanish conquest" as the moral justification for their incursions into the Western Hemisphere. Sir Walter Raleigh, supported by Queen Elizabeth, selects Roanoke as his base of operations. It is a location that is safe from enemy incursion, but the land is short on water and not very productive. The first settlers are primarily military men who alienate Native Americans in their determined quest for wealth. Raleigh soon realizes this is not the appropriate model for colonization, and in his second attempt to establish a colony in Roanoke, he sends entire families.


Cortes, Carlos, Ph.D. University of California--Riverside

Kupperman, Karen Ordahl, Ph.D. Silver Professor of History, New York University

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D. University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:54

The Lost Colony of Roanoke

Over 100 men, women, and children leave for Roanoke in 1587 to establish the family-centered colony Raleigh envisions. The commander of the expedition John White returns to England for more supplies and families. He plans to return in a few months but it is actually three years before he can get back. As the camera explores the territory where the colony was established we hear White's journal account of looking for the "lost colony."


Kupperman, Karen Ordahl. Ph.D. Silver Professor of History, New York University, author of Indians and the English

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D. University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:47

Colonial America, Early Chesapeake

London investors are now becoming interested in financing overseas ventures. Initially they were looking to make money by establishing trading posts like the French or privateering They turn to colonization only as a last resort. The London Company, now calling itself the Virginia Company, obtains a new charter in 1609 and offers incentives to those willing to migrate to an inland settlement they called Jamestown. Six hundred people including women and children, respond.


Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D. University of California--Riverside

Kupperman, Karen Ordahl, Ph.D. Silver Professor of History, New York University

Murrin, John, Ph.D. Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Wall, Helena, Ph.D. Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:26

Indentured Servitude: Payment for Passage

The majority of colonists who immigrate to the Chesapeake in the 17th century pay for their passage by working as indentured servants for a specified number of years. Initially men outnumber women six to one, so willing are they to take the gamble that they can eventually win their freedom. It is a gamble many of them lost. Diseases like malaria claim over half of the settlers. John Smith's account in "Settlement of Jamestown" punctuates the suffering people endured.


Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D. University of California--Riverside

Kupperman, Karen Ordahl, Ph.D. Silver Professor of History, New York University

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D. University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:54

Relationship between Early English Settlers and Native Americans

The people of Jamestown would not have survived at all without the assistance of Native Americans. They taught the settlers how to plant corn and give them gifts of food. The paradox of Jamestown, as Edmond Morgan describes it, is that the settlers, blinded by their sense of cultural superiority, fail to recognize the critical nature of this assistance. They attack the Indians both before and after the 1622 massacre, almost as retribution for their lack of success.


Kupperman, Karen Ordahl, Ph.D. Silver Professor of History, New York University;

Wall, Helena, Ph.D. Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

04:32

England Revises Approach to Colonization and Establishes Royal Colony of Virginia

England and its Virginia Company surrogate take steps to revise their approach to colonization yet again. They increase incentives for families willing to migrate, attempt to attract merchants rather than aristocrats, and develop agricultural products for export and sustenance of the colony. Colonists are granted the full rights of Englishmen and a share in self government with the House of Burgesses holding its first meeting in the summer of 1619. Despite these efforts James I revokes the Virginia Company's charter in 1624 and Virginia becomes a royal colony.


Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D. University of California--Riverside

Kupperman, Karen Ordahl, Ph.D. Silver Professor of History, New York University

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D. University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies

Wall, Helena, Ph.D. Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:15

Puritans Establish Second Permanent English Colony


In September of 1620, 35 "saints" and 67 "strangers" set sail from Plymouth, England to establish a second permanent English colony in North America. These Puritans, in conflict with the king and the upper hierarchy of the church, had been granted permission to settle in Northern Virginia. When they arrive in Cape Cod instead, they draw up a document they call The Mayflower Compact to legitimize their position before they leave the ship. When King Charles I and the archbishops strengthen their purge against Puritanism in the late 1620s, other Puritans embark on the same journey.


Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:23

Types of People Who Journeyed to New Land

The people who embark on these journeys are quite different from those who signed on for passage to the Chesapeake. Most are intact family groups who had owned property in their native England and could pay for their own passage. Often a large subset of a church would come and settle together, naming their new village after the towns they had left.


Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D. University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies

Wall, Helena, Ph.D. Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

01:38

The Puritans, a Product of Their English Culture

The new world transforms the lives of the Puritans in many respects, but they still remain a product of their culture. For example, the fact that some of the colonists had encountered Irish resistance to colonization influences their attitude toward Native Americans. Early colonists are unsure about how to perceive Native Americans. Should they view them in positive, constructive terms because they need their help or consider them threatening and dangerous because they are so different?


Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside

Wall, Helena, Ph.D. Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

04:24

The Mayflower Compact: Structure for a Colony

Over the course of the first ten years, the Puritans convert the charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company into a functioning constitution for their colony The town meeting becomes the cornerstone of community life as local issues are decided by adult free males. The church also exerts a governing influence, with congregational members rather than the church hierarchy assuming positions of authority. While there is formal separation between church and state, all residents contribute to the salary of Puritan clergy.


Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside

Heyrman, Christine Leigh, Ph.D., University of Delaware

Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

01:47

Holy Watchfulness or Sheer Nosiness?

The communities created in New England are more tightly clustered than the English villages they had left. Generally families have two plots of land, one in the center for their home and one on the outskirts of the community for farming. In such close proximity, members of the church are directed to keep holy watchfulness over each other, an edict that can result in sheer nosiness or an excess of unsolicited advice. Puritan authorities often find it difficult to get all of their church members to accept one version of moral respectability.


Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside

Heyrman, Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:29

The Trial of Anne Hutchinson

At the very heart of Puritanism, observes historian Helena Wall, is an extraordinary level of subversiveness. Puritanism places tremendous emphasis on the individual’s relationship to God, unmediated by a church, by sacraments, by a minister. No one takes this principle more seriously than Anne Hutchinson, who challenges the authority of the church and is put on trial in an historical re-creation drawn from primary source accounts.


Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

01:29

Difficulties of Establishing a Godly Community

The Puritans find it difficult to establish the godly community they had envisioned for several reasons. In order to have a viable colony, they admit craftsmen and artisans who are not necessarily godly but have the skills they need. Also many church members do not adhere to orthodoxy in ways Puritan leaders would prefer. The fact that people have broad access to land and can move if they wish makes them less dependent on family and community approval.


Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:53

“Hivings” Challenge Community Solidarity and Indian Culture

New England colonists, in contrast with Chesapeake settlers, are more interested in staying put than spreading out. But as rapid population growth overtakes them, people inevitably begin to move beyond town boundaries. Such "hivings," as they are called, seem to weaken the strength of the original communitarian impulse. Expansion also intrudes upon the Native American population. Although Indians only intensively cultivate small amounts of land, the hunting and gathering that is integral to their life depends upon extensive land use.


Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside

Kupperman, Karen Ordahl, Ph.D., Silver Professor of History, New York University

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:03

Relations with Indians Deteriorate

Puritan relations with Indians sour quickly. In the Pequot War of 1637, Puritans seem determined to wipe the tribe from the face of the earth. Those Indians who are not killed are sent to the Caribbean in exchange for slaves. In the 1640s and 1650s Puritans establish Praying Towns for Native Americans who adopt the lifestyle of the Puritans. Attempts to isolate and exploit Indians anger King Philip and lead to a brutal war that the Puritans win despite high mortality rates on both sides. In the aftermath, the Indians are scattered and there is a period of relative peace.


Nash, Gary, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies

Trafzer, Clifford, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside, author of As Long as the Grass Shall Grow and Rivers Flow

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

00:44

Immigration: A Key Element in American History

Immigration has been a key element throughout American history. The numbers of immigrants in the country's early history constituted a greater percentage of the population than it does today.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Levine, Lawrence W., Ph.D., George Mason University


Download the transcript for this video below:

05:56

Indentured Servitude and Immigration

The United States has been a magnet for immigrants throughout its history. In the colonial period, many who embarked on the journey found it necessary to indenture themselves just to pay for the passage. As we hear a first-hand account of the difficulties of the voyage, noted historians chronicle the life of an indentured servant after the harrowing transatlantic journey: the sale of their contract, length of servitude, as well as their options and contributions once free.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Freedman, Estelle, Ph.D., Stanford University

Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside

Kupperman, Karen Ordahl, Ph.D., Silver Professor of History, New York University

Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:45

Family and Community Life in New England

The portrait of life in New England plays out in stark contrast to life in the Southern colonies primarily because New England is settled by family groups. Although birth rates and life expectancy are generally high, women settlers find themselves in a wilderness that is full of uncertainties. The community plays a dominant role in the lives of the families sheltered within its borders. Marriage is a social obligation that contributes to the stability of the community, the family a place where people learn to be citizens and function in hierarchical settings.


Freedman, Estelle, Ph.D., Stanford University

Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside

Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:56

The Family Unit in Colonial New England

Within the marriage relationship, community-prescribed roles and responsibilities are molded to meet the needs of the family, with the male head of household responsible for maintaining social and moral order within the family . There is no such thing as a non-working person. The tasks men and women performed may be different, but they are nonetheless important. Children also have responsibilities within the family unit. Sometimes they are apprenticed to another household, a practice the colonists call "putting out."


Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside

Kessler-Harris, Alice, Ph.D., Hoxie Professor of American History, Columbia University

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion

Download the transcript for this video below:

06:17

Introduction of Slavery in Colonial America

For most of the 17th century, the number of slaves in the American colonies is quite small. Indentured servants and the settlers themselves handle most of the colonies' labor needs. The transition to slave labor in the Chesapeake is the result of economic shifts. With improvements in the English economy in the latter decades of the 17th century fewer people are willing to sell themselves as indentured servants. At the same time the cost of Africans goes down, and the demand for labor on tobacco and later cotton plantations increases. Unlike indentured servants, slaves do not have a choice in their fate. Exchange patterns often link slaves of a particular region to crops grown on the plantation.


Berlin, Ira, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland, author of Many Thousands Gone

Moss, Alfred, Ph.D., University of Maryland, co-author of From Slavery to Freedom

Nash, Gary, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies

White, Deborah G., Ph.D., Rutgers University, author of Too Heavy a Load


Download the transcript for this video below:

04:35

Upsurge in Immigration

In addition to the large influx of African slaves in the early 18th century, there is an upsurge in the number of German and Scotch Irish Protestants who immigrate. Their economic potential is restricted in their home countries, in part because of their religion. The newcomers who settle primarily in the middle colonies are not always welcomed by earlier settlers, a pattern of opposition that continues to this day.


Levine, Lawrence W., Ph.D., George Mason University

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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Check Your Understanding
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Section 4: The English Empire (1660-1763)
Article

READINGS

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OpenStax College, U.S. History. (© 2014 Rice University)

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KEY TERMS

Dominion of New England - James II's consolidated New England colony, made up of all the colonies from New Haven to Massachusetts and later New York and New Jersey

deism - an Enlightenment-era belief in the existence of a supreme being—specifically, a creator who does not intervene in the universe—representing a rejection of the belief in a supernatural deity who interacts with humankind

English interregnum - the period from 1649 to 1660 when England had no king

Enlightenment - an eighteenth-century intellectual and cultural movement that emphasized reason and science over superstition, religion, and tradition

First Great Awakening - an eighteenth-century Protestant revival that emphasized individual, experiential faith over church doctrine and the close study of scripture

Freemasons - a fraternal society founded in the early eighteenth century that advocated Enlightenment principles of inquiry and tolerance

French and Indian War - the last eighteenth-century imperial struggle between Great Britain and France, leading to a decisive British victory; this war lasted from 1754 to 1763 and was also called the Seven Years' War

Glorious Revolution - the overthrow of James II in 1688

Navigation Acts - a series of English mercantilist laws enacted between 1651 and 1696 in order to control trade with the colonies

nonconformists - Protestants who did not conform to the doctrines or practices of the Church of England

proprietary colonies - colonies granted by the king to a trusted individual, family, or group

Restoration colonies - the colonies King Charles II established or supported during the Restoration (the Carolinas, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania)

salutary neglect - the laxness with which the English crown enforced the Navigation Acts in the eighteenth century

03:02

Patterns of English Colonization in North America

By the end of the 1630s, English settlers have established six significant colonies in the New World. In a series of events that shock Europe, the English king is beheaded, the House of Lords is dissolved, and England finds itself under the stern rule of Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell's plan for the colonies, called the Western Design, promotes his country's economic and religious interests abroad. After Cromwell's death Charles II returns from France to reclaim the throne and interest once again turns to colonization.


Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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01:55

Proprietary Charters Issued by Charles II


Historian John Murrin calls the 17th century the "age of remarkable experimentation in terms of how you organize a colony." The four new colonies Charles II initiates are all proprietary ventures styled after the Maryland model. Despite greater interest in colonization, English migration to the Americas declines toward the end of the 17th century. With improved economic opportunities at home, many potential settlers decide not to take the risk, even though by this time potential dangers have declined considerably.


Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies


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02:26

Migration to the Middle Colonies

At the end of the 17th century, with many of the "best" lands in New England and Virginia already taken, new colonists show an interest in the Middle Colonies. A number of colonists like Gabriel Thomas send reports home, sharing their observations and experiences.


Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies


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02:29

The Impact of Quaker Presence in the Middle Colonies

For Quaker families, the religious freedom the colony offers is reason enough to come. Quaker women often travel as "public friends" or missionaries, a practice that is frowned upon by Puritans. Quaker settlers do not believe in killing; in fact there is no blood shed in New Jersey or Pennsylvania for the 70 years they are in control. Their commitment to fairness in dealing with the Indians is eroded as waves of land-hungry Scotch-Irish and German immigrants flood into the area in the early 18th century.


Heyrman, Christine Leigh, Ph.D., University of Delaware; Nash, Gary, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles


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02:31

The Middle Colonies--A Diverse Melting Pot

Perhaps the most lasting legacy of the Quakers is religious toleration, not a common notion in the 17th century. The practical benefit of encouraging religious toleration is that it makes it very easy to populate your colony. The middle colonies are unique, neither fully North nor fully South. They are the middle ground, a diverse melting pot that foreshadows the pluralist society the United States is to become.


Heyrman, Christine Leigh, Ph.D., University of Delaware

Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People;

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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02:37

Settlement of the Southern Coast: Carolinas, Georgia, Florida

The lure of land is so strong that some adventuresome settlers move away from the coastal areas to territory explored and occupied by the French. They are also tempted by the less densely populated regions of the south. Carolina, for example, is a second-generation colony that attracts experienced settlers with realistic expectations. Georgia is founded, in part, as a haven for debtors but in some ways its more important purpose is to serve as a buffer against the Spanish in Florida. Florida is a place where there are enormous land grants but no strong forms of authority.


Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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04:03


The Crown Tries to Tighten Its Control

In the British colonies along the Atlantic seaboard new agricultural and commercial interests begin to thrive. This success comes at a time when Britain is in conflict with its European neighbors over trade. In an attempt exclude other nations from direct trade with the colonies, England issues a series of Navigation Acts. These edicts are met with resistance, particularly in New England. James II who is much more authoritarian than Charles II creates what he calls the Dominion of New England under the direction of Governor Edmond Andros, a non-Puritan who initiates a series of punitive measures that effectively curtail trade and commerce.


Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside

Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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03:39

England's Glorious Revolution and its Aftermath

James II is not only losing friends in America, he is also making powerful enemies in England by attempting to exercise autocratic control over Parliament. He and his colonial governors are overthrown in the Glorious Revolution. This is a period of great unrest on both sides of the Atlantic. In almost every colony there is the struggle between the established elite who were linked to crown authority and those who exercise power on the local scene.


Katz, Stanley N., Ph.D., Princeton University

Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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02:41

Integration of Colonies within British System

As the first century of English settlement in America comes to an end and colonists celebrate their victories over arbitrary British rule, they are in fact become more a part of the imperial system in terms of communication and participation in the English culture. At the same time, however, the population within the colonies is becoming less English. Only a small portion of this large colonial territory is controlled by the British, but within just a few years, changes looming on the world scene will alter the balance of power in the New World.


Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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02:44

Contrast between Northern and Southern Colonies

The Southern and Northern colonies continue along divergent paths in the 17th and 18th centuries. Their physical environments are different, their populations diverse. But perhaps the factor that contributes most to their distinctiveness is the introduction of a slave labor system to the plantation economy of the South. In contrast , the Northern economy is dominated by relatively small family farms, and by towns and cities that are becoming centers of diversified commercial activity.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Moss, Alfred, Ph.D., University of Maryland, co-author of From Slavery to Freedom

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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02:01

Cities of 17th Century Colonial America

Cities, even in the 17th century, play a prominent role in the economic and social life of the colonies. Early population centers--New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Charles Town--are often referred to as walking cities. There is little stratification. Residents and businesses are blended, as are the living quarters of the rich and the poor.


Jackson, Kenneth T., Ph.D. Barzun Professor of History, Columbia University

Nicolaides, Becky, Ph.D., University of California--San Diego

Stoll, Steven Brian, Ph.D, Yale University


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02:06

Plantation Society of the South

The plantation is a uniquely American form of community for many white and black Southerners. The region is largely rural, dependent on such lucrative but labor-intensive crops as rice, sugar, cotton, and later tobacco. The fact that the hard physical work of the plantation is provided largely by slaves creates a lifestyle for both women and men that is quite unlike that in the North. Most large-scale plantations are in the southern coastal regions with smaller tobacco plantations in Maryland and Virginia. As the plantation society takes hold, an elite southern gentry with far reaching political influence begins to emerge.


Kessler-Harris, Alice, Ph.D., Hoxie Professor of American History, Columbia University

Moss, Alfred, Ph.D., University of Maryland, co-author of From Slavery to Freedom

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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02:40

Southern Women: The Plantation Mistress and Her Slaves

The mistresses of successful southern plantations are businesswomen who spend most of their time and energy managing the plantation household. The slave women they oversee have a dual burden: the physical work they perform as slaves and the reproductive labor of producing children who become the property of their masters. If they don't continue to produce offspring, slave women risk being sold and separated from whatever family they have. The hold slavery has on the South changes its social order.


Freedman, Estelle, Ph.D., Stanford University

Kessler-Harris, Alice, Ph.D., Hoxie Professor of American History, Columbia University

White, Deborah G., Ph.D., Rutgers University, author of Too Heavy A Load


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03:41

Governance of New England Towns

A very different form of community emerges in New England, one that is also distinctly American. Here the primary social unit is not the isolated farm, but the town—a tightly knit community of people bound together by their town covenant. In order to sustain their particularly demanding culture, Puritans develop the tradition of holding town meetings where they elect their own officers and choose their own bylaws. In relative terms, it is a democratic system that reflects the economic egalitarianism of early New England.


Heyrman, Christine Leigh, Ph.D., University of Delaware

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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02:19

The Role of Colonial Courts

Colonial courts also play a significant role in the life of the town. Records of court proceedings provide an intriguing glimpse into colonial life and what was important to people at the time. Historian Helena Wall recounts one such case, a 17th century law suit that was filed when a child called a neighbor woman a "mangle stick." The incident is re-enacted in the town hall of old Salem.


Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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05:23

The Witchcraft Hysteria

In the latter half of the 17th century, the well-ordered life New Englanders sought to establish begins to crumble with the advent of a series of calamitous events--a smallpox epidemic, war with Indians, accusations of witchcraft in Salem. Although this is not the first time or the only place charges of witchcraft have been levied, the number of people accused and put to death in 1692 is astonishing. With the actual words of accusers as a backdrop, historian Richard Godbeer talks about why the witchcraft hysteria occurred at this time and place, and how it was brought to an end.


Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside, author of The Devil's Dominion

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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04:47

The Great Awakening

As the 1700s begin, a new force—the spirit of enlightenment with its emphasis on science and reason— competes with the religious messages of George Whitfield and the first Great Awakening. The movement surfaces in the mid-Atlantic colonies and soon spreads to New England, but it will be decades before it reaches the South because of its criticisms of slavery and the emphasis of church over family. The issue of slavery also poses a challenge to 18th century enlightenment, but from the perspective of social and economic development rather than morality.


Heyrman, Christine Leigh, Ph.D., University of Delaware

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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Check Your Understanding
10 questions
Section 5: Imperial Reforms and Colonial Protests (1763-1774)
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 05

OpenStax College, U.S. History. (© 2014 Rice University)

Download full text book for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11740/latest/

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KEY TERMS

Boston Massacre - a confrontation between a crowd of Bostonians and British soldiers on March 5, 1770, which resulted in the deaths of five people, including Crispus Attucks, the first official casualty in the war for independence

Coercive Acts - four acts (Administration of Justice Act, Massachusetts Government Act, Port Bill, Quartering Act) that Lord North passed to punish Massachusetts for destroying the tea and refusing to pay for the damage

Committees of Correspondence - colonial extralegal shadow governments that convened to coordinate plans of resistance against the British

Daughters of Liberty - well-born British colonial women who led a non-importation movement against British goods

direct tax - a tax that consumers pay directly, rather than through merchants' higher prices

Intolerable Acts - the name American Patriots gave to the Coercive Acts and the Quebec Act

indirect tax - a tax imposed on businesses, rather than directly on consumers

Loyalists - colonists in America who were loyal to Great Britain

Massachusetts Circular - a letter penned by Son of Liberty Samuel Adams that laid out the unconstitutionality of taxation without representation and encouraged the other colonies to boycott British goods

no taxation without representation - the principle, first articulated in the Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions, that the colonists needed to be represented in Parliament if they were to be taxed

non-importation movement - a widespread colonial boycott of British goods

Proclamation Line - a line along the Appalachian Mountains, imposed by the Proclamation of 1763, west of which British colonists could not settle

Sons of Liberty - artisans, shopkeepers, and small-time merchants who opposed the Stamp Act and considered themselves British patriots

Suffolk Resolves - a Massachusetts plan of resistance to the Intolerable Acts that formed the basis of the eventual plan adopted by the First Continental Congress for resisting the British, including the arming of militias and the adoption of a widespread non-importation, non-exportation, and non-consumption agreement

vice-admiralty courts - British royal courts without juries that settled disputes occurring at sea

02:38

The Imperial /Colonial Relationship

Few Americans in the 1750s are bothered by their connection to the British empire. It provides opportunities for trade and commerce as well as military protection and political stability. Although the English government leaves the colonies alone for the most part, the two sides view their relationship quite differently. As the colonies grow and mature, colonial leaders think of themselves as equal to the mother country, whereas British authorities believe they alone have the right to dictate colonial law, policy, and taxation. As early as 1630 some people in Great Britain are warning against the potential of the colonies seeking independence.


Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside

Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People


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05:47

The Seven Years’ War

In 1754 the long-standing struggle between France and England erupts in the Seven Years' War over the building of Fort Duquesne in the Ohio Valley. At first, the war is fairly contained, but in 1756 it explodes into a conflict of international proportions, with North America and the acquisition of Canada as the prize. The demand that the British Parliament tax the colonies to help pay for the war effort is rejected by War Minister William Pitt in favor of establishing a fixed subsidy the colonial governments can divide. England's ultimate victory results in the country's gaining territory east of the Mississippi and north of the Great Lakes, while the French are evicted from North America.


Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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03:44

British Experience the Burdens of Empire

Imperial authorities come away from the Seven Years' War convinced that they need to assert more control over the colonies. They demobilize colonial troops and attempt to control western territories by themselves, provoking massive resistance among the Indians who object to traders and settlers moving onto lands they consider their own.. Pontiac's War overruns almost every British garrison in 1763. The British respond by issuing the Proclamation of 1763 which forbids settlers from advancing into territory west of the Appalachian Mountains.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside

Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People;

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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05:12

Taxing the Colonies

The British begin enacting a series of financial revenue acts in 1764 to help pay for the cost of administering their continental empire. The resolutions of protest, riots and economic boycotts by colonials baffle the British who point out that their own citizens carry a much heavier tax burden. The British eventually pull back, but it is not long before they take other steps that anger the colonists and undermine their hope of ever being treated fairly by the British.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

04:34

Growth of Colonial Resistance

The Boston Massacre, a clash between working-class people in Boston and British troops, ignites colonial resentment to a new level of intensity. Although the next few years appear relatively calm, resistance is building below the surface. A number of groups, like the Scotch Irish and Germans do not identify with the British. The fact that the American economy and population are growing quickly means that the colonies cannot be easily corralled within the British economic system. When Bostonians dump tea in the Boston Harbor rather than pay a tax on it, the British close down the Boston Harbor, abolish the Massachusetts Second Charter of 1691 and impose a conventional Royal Government.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Moss, Alfred, Ph.D., University of Maryland, co-author of From Slavery to Freedom

Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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03:16

British Attempt to Subdue Colonial Resistance

In response to the Intolerable Acts, the First Continental Congress convenes in Philadelphia. At this stage, Congress does not think of itself as a government, but as a means to counter the bullying of Great Britain. British troops are sent to Boston, and the governor General Gage receives orders to gain control of the interior. It is not immediately clear to the British and even to many Americans, that the skirmishes at Lexington and Concord are the first battles of a war. Many see them as simply another example of the tensions that have been plaguing Anglo-American relations for years. But whether or not they recognize it, the war for independence has begun.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

Check Your Understanding
10 questions
Section 6: America's War for Independence (1775-1790)
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapters 06 & 07

OpenStax College, U.S. History. (© 2014 Rice University)

Download full text book for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11740/latest/

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KEY TERMS

Continental currency - the paper currency that the Continental government printed to fund the Revolution

confiscation acts - state-wide acts that made it legal for state governments to seize Loyalists' property

Dunmore's Proclamation - the decree signed by Lord Dunmore, the royal governor of Virginia, which proclaimed that any slaves or indentured servants who fought on the side of the British would be rewarded with their freedom

Hessians - German mercenaries hired by Great Britain to put down the American rebellion

Mecklenburg Resolves - North Carolina's declaration of rebellion against Great Britain

minutemen - colonial militias prepared to mobilize and fight the British with a minute's notice

popular sovereignty - the practice of allowing the citizens of a state or territory to decide issues based on the principle of majority rule

republicanism - a political philosophy that holds that states should be governed by representatives, not a monarch; as a social philosophy, republicanism required civic virtue of its citizens

thirteen colonies - the British colonies in North America that declared independence from Great Britain in 1776, which included Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, the province of Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, South Carolina, and Virginia

Yorktown - the Virginia port where British General Cornwallis surrendered to American forces

Anti-Federalists - those who opposed the 1787 Constitution and favored stronger individual states

bicameral - having two legislative houses, an upper and a lower house

Connecticut Compromise - also known as the Great Compromise, Roger Sherman's proposal at the Constitutional Convention for a bicameral legislature, with the upper house having equal representation for all states and the lower house having proportional representation

checks and balances - the system that ensures a balance of power among the branches of government

conservative Whigs - the politically and economically elite revolutionary class that wanted to limit political participation to a few powerful families

coverture - the legal status of married women in the United States, which included complete legal and economic dependence on husbands

democracy - a system of government in which the majority rules

Electoral College - the mechanism by which electors, based on the number of representatives from each state, choose the president

Federalists - those who supported the 1787 Constitution and a strong central government; these advocates of the new national government formed the ruling political party in the 1790s

majority rule - a fundamental principle of democracy, providing that the majority should have the power to make decisions binding upon the whole

manumission - the freeing of a slave by his or her owner

monarchy - a form of government with a monarch at its head

proportional representation - representation that gives more populous states greater political power by allowing them more representatives

radical Whigs - revolutionaries who favored broadening participation in the political process

three-fifths compromise - the agreement at the Constitutional Convention that each slave would count as three-fifths of a white person for purposes of representation

unicameral - having a single house (of legislative government)

03:19

The American Revolution--Supporters, Critics, and Disbelievers

Although rumors of impending conflict with Great Britain have been circulating for months, the actual outbreak of hostilities in 1775 finds the colonies unprepared for the challenges of armed conflict. The loosely formed confederation is less than one third the size of Great Britain and cannot begin to match its economic and military resources. Virginia planters, New England merchants, and dispossessed groups favor the revolutionary movement; others engage in it reluctantly or, like the loyalists, not at all. Most Brits think of this as a brief uprising of malcontents; they miss the deeper implications.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University

Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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05:54

Support for Independence Intensifies

Colonial support for independence intensifies with the circulation of "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine. Three weeks after the battles of Lexington and Concord, the Second Continental Congress meets at the state house in Philadelphia with delegates from every colony except Georgia. Acting as a plural executive, the group appoints Thomas Jefferson to draw up a declaration of independence, a document John Dickinson of Pennsylvania refuses to sign without first having a "constitution." He begins writing the Articles of Confederation, which finally gains approval after a year and a half of debate.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University

Heyrman, Christine Leigh, Ph.D., University of Delaware

Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power

A History of the American People; Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University

Onuf, Peter S., Ph.D., Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor, University of Virginia

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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02:34

Mobilizing for War

The first order of business for the new government is recruiting and organizing an army. Many volunteers are disadvantaged men hoping to earn enough money to buy land or a business. Their term of service begins in the spring and ends in the fall at which point recruitment must begin all over again. Not all of those who sign up are fighting against the crown. For example, Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys join the patriotic cause in order to get a favorable post-war decision from the Continental Congress related to their boundary dispute with New York.


Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside

Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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07:41

Battles in New England and the Mid-Atlantic

During the first year of fighting, British forces attempt to crush each outbreak of rebellion as it occurs. They suffer major losses when they take on revolutionary forces at Breed's Hill in Boston, yet crush Washington's troops in New York. Each time they win a major victory, the Brits fail to press their advantage, not recognizing the difficulty of fighting so far from home or the determination of George Washington. Life is difficult for military and non-military alike, as reflected in the correspondence between Benjamin Franklin and his daughter. The Continental army led by Washington wins major tactical victories at Trenton and Princeton.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside

Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University

Onuf, Peter S., Ph.D., Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor, University of Virginia

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:35

Securing Aid from Abroad

Historians characterize the Revolutionary War as an "embarrassing" military event with few notable battles. The failure of the British to crush the Continental army in the mid-Atlantic states combined with the stunning American victory at Saratoga that openly brings the French into the conflict proves to be a turning point in the war. The big question is whether the United State can continue this fight long enough for the British to give up without doing permanent damage to Colonial society itself.


Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University

Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Onuf, Peter S., Ph.D., Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor, University of Virginia


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03:25

How the Continental Army Outlasted Britain’s Military Might

How can the small, rag-tag Continental army outlast the 18th century's most formidable military power? One important factor is that the British misunderstand what they are facing in this conflict, one of five battlefronts in which the British are engaged in the years 1760 to 1815. Powerful opposition to the war in Parliament, the active support of European powers against the British, and the realization that the colonies are not crucial to British prosperity also play a role. It may not have been much of a war, but the colonists now hold the destiny of this young untried nation in their own hands.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Godbeer, Richard, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside

Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Onuf, Peter S., Ph.D., Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor, University of Virginia

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:20

Negotiating a Peace Treaty

Cornwallis’s defeat at Yorktown and the resignation of Lord North as British prime minister signal the end of the colonies’ 7-year struggle with Great Britain. Franklin, Jay, and Oswald represent the United States at the Paris Peace Talks. Although they had been instructed by Congress to involve Vergennes and the French government in the negotiations, they reached an agreement with Great Britain without consultation, a strategy that ultimately works out for each of the countries concerned.


Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University


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01:55

Precarious Union

Even though the revolution was successful, long-term prospects for the survival of the United States are uncertain. Both internal difficulties and threats from abroad plague the young nation. The leaders of the country are quite sensibly worried. It was one thing to break away from England, and quite another matter to keep these separate colonies working together to recover from the costs of the war.


Nash, Gary, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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04:21

African American and Native American Viewpoints

The institution of slavery is undermined by the Revolutionary War. Many slaves run away, serving in the Continental Army and eventually gaining their freedom. There is widespread belief that slavery will come to an end because of its incompatibility with the ideals of the Declaration of Independence. Although the North does move to free blacks, this does not happen in South, causing great disillusionment and charges of hypocrisy. Disillusionment also exists among native Americans. Although members of the Indian nations were not part of the Paris Peace talks, and few were involved in the actual fighting, the United States laid claim to Indian country after the war because they had won the war and conquered their enemies.


Berlin, Ira, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland, author of Many Thousands Gone

Moss, Alfred, Ph.D., University of Maryland, co-author of From Slavery to Freedom

Onuf, Peter S., Ph.D., Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor, University of Virginia

Rodgers, Daniel, Ph.D., Lea Professor of History, Princeton University, author of Atlantic Crossings

Trafzer, Clifford, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside, author of As Long as the Grass Shall Grow and Rivers Flow


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03:05

Building Government Structures

At the same time that Americans are struggling to win their independence on the battlefield, they are also struggling to create new institutions of government for themselves. Although each state employs its own method of creating a framework for managing the affairs of state, this task tends to be easier than deciding on a form for their national government. The whole process of constitution writing, envisioning the world as they want it to be is exciting and at the same time fraught with difficulties and disagreements. This is an interesting period in political thinking and political participation.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Rodgers, Daniel, Ph.D., Lea Professor of History, Princeton University, author of Atlantic Crossings

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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02:48

Challenges Facing the Young Nation

The United States faces a number of daunting issues in the years immediately following the war. The British do not evacuate the forts in the northwest territory or provide compensation for slaves as they had agreed. In 1784, Congress sends John Adams to London to resolve these and other issues, but Adams makes no headway with the English. The young nation experiences similar difficulties with Spain. Secessionists movements begin to crop up in the southwest. Spain closes the port at New Orleans, a particular blow for a country trying to establish itself in the international world of trade. One of the major difficulties, under the Articles of Confederation, is the weakness of the national union, a fact that contributes to the country's weak standing on the international scene.


Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University; Onuf, Peter S., Ph.D., Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor, University of Virginia

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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02:41

Western Expansion

The Confederation’s most significant accomplishment during the 1780s is the resolution of at least some of the controversies related to western lands. Much of the frontier land had been acquired by land speculators who advertise it and attempt to sell it for a high price. The Ordinance of 1784 divides the Western territory into self-governing districts that can petition Congress for statehood when the population of the district equals the free inhabitants of the smallest state. The following year, Congress creates a grid system for surveying and selling western lands. The Indians who occupy these lands either move further west, try to accommodate the new settlers, or attempt to stand their ground and fight.


Aron, Stephen, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles

Onuf, Peter S., Ph.D., Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor, University of Virginia

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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04:32

Economic Upheaval

There is tremendous economic disruption after the war. The currency is worthless; Robert Morris' proposed 5% duty tax to pay for war debts fails. Under the Articles of Confederation economic problems fall to the states to resolve if a unanimous vote of the states cannot be achieved. Citizens, however, rebel against any tax increase states proposed as evidenced by Shays' Rebellion. In order to preserve the Union from internal strike and external aggressors it becomes necessary to consider constitutional reform.


Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University

Onuf, Peter S., Ph.D., Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor, University of Virginia

Rakove, Jack, Ph.D., Coe Professor of History, Stanford University, author of Original Meanings

Taylor, Alan, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of American Colonies

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:43

Articles of Confederation Need Revamping

For most of the 1780s U. S. leaders try to come up with modifications to the Articles of Confederation that will strengthen the nation without creating a tyranny. They call for a meeting in Annapolis to discuss their ideas but only five states send delegates, hardly a quorum for action. Recognizing that the time has come to enable the national government to act without securing state compliance with all of its recommendations and requisitions, delegates agree to meet in Philadelphia the following May. As Barbara Oberg comments, the Articles of Confederation served significant role in the early days of the republic. "It got people thinking about what it is to form a government so when they met, first in Annapolis and then in Philadelphia, they could get down to the serious work of framing a Constitution."


Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University

Onuf, Peter S., Ph.D., Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor, University of Virginia

Rakove, Jack, Ph.D., Coe Professor of History, Stanford University, author of Original Meanings

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:27

Delegates Gather for Constitutional Convention


By the mid 1780s, the United States is a young nation in trouble. It is impossible to get all 13 states to agree on issues of national policy. Even the Annapolis convention to modify the Articles of Confederation fails to attract enough delegates. A follow-up meeting is scheduled for the following spring in Philadelphia, but there is concern that it may not fare any better. The "Journal of the Constitutional Convention" recorded by by James Madison provides first-hand commentary on the events of September 1787 as the delegates trickle into the convention site to face the challenges before them.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University

Rakove, Jack, Ph.D., Coe Professor of History, Stanford University, author of Original Meanings


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02:32

Debate over Representation


A major challenge for the delegates is how to devise a system of representation that will work effectively over country of such vast size. There is no model to follow in the 18th century. Madison and other large-state delegates want representation in both houses apportioned on the basis of population or population and wealth. Small state delegates argue for the right of equal representation. The delegates debate for weeks, and more than once the Convention seems in danger of collapsing before the critical decision is made on July 16th.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University

Rakove, Jack, Ph.D., Coe Professor of History, Stanford University, author of Original Meanings


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:19

Apportionment of Slave Populations


The separate economic interests of Northern and Southern states becomes the basis for the second major debate. The South seeks some credit for its slaves and make it known that there will be no union without recognition of a way of life they consider necessary, economically and socially. Madison's Journal chronicles the debate and the three-fifths compromise that eventually is reached. Constitutional scholar Jack Rakove explains why he believes the first compromise which results in equal representation in the Senate is the more problematic of the two compromises.


Moss, Alfred, Ph.D., University of Maryland, co-author of From Slavery to Freedom

Rakove, Jack, Ph.D., Coe Professor of History, Stanford University, author of Original Meanings


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02:38

Controlling Federal Power


Historian Bernard Bailyn characterizes the construction of the Constitution as "something of a miracle." Delegates to the Constitutional Convention create a system for governing the country's large geographic area while maintaining the ideals of individual liberty and equality. The powers of government are separated among three branches of government--executive, legislative, and judicial--with checks and balances over each other. Authority is further divided between federal and state governments, with ultimate sovereignty vested in the people.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University

Rakove, Jack, Ph.D., Coe Professor of History, Stanford University, author of Original Meanings


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02:05

Ratification Strategy

It is one thing to get Convention delegates to agree on the Constitution; it's quite another matter to get states and opponents to go along with it. Perhaps the most revolutionary move of the Convention is the adoption of a ratification clause which, contrary to the Articles of Confederation, says the government will come into existence as soon as nine States ratify the Constitution. The Framers also establish ground rules for the state conventions that require them to accept or reject the Constitution in total, not piece by piece.


Murrin, John, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People

Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University

Rakove, Jack, Ph.D., Coe Professor of History, Stanford University, author of Original Meanings


Download the transcript for this video below:

04:34

States Consider Constitutional Ratification

On September 17, 1787 thirty-nine delegates sign their names to the Constitution of the United States. All but one of the states hold ratifying conventions in which more than 1200 people examine the details and the principles of the document. Federalists have quick victories in six states and then things start getting closer. A fierce debate is carried on in the newspaper between writers of the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist spokesperson "Brutus." The turning point occurs in January 1788, when Massachusetts ratifies the Constitution with the assumption that there will be a Bill of Rights. The approval of the ninth state, New Hampshire, occurs the following June.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University

Rakove, Jack, Ph.D., Coe Professor of History, Stanford University, author of Original Meanings

Rodgers, Daniel, Ph.D., Lea Professor of History, Princeton University, author of Atlantic Crossings


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02:25

Testing the Design of the Constitution

The first election under the Constitution is scheduled for the early months of 1789. The newly-elected Congress, says historian Bernard Bailyn, is a "creative force in our constitutional life" for two reasons: the Bill of Rights, submitted to the House by James Madison, and the Judiciary Act of 1789 which creates the federal judicial system. The system, however, is not complete until Washington’s administration puts it into effect. Washington knew that some kind of cabinet structure would be necessary and appoints powerful leaders to key positions. How to handle relations with the Senate in their advise and consent role proves problematic for the new president.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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06:31

Power Struggle Between Federalists and Republicans

For twelve years, control of the new government remains firmly in the hands of the Federalists, but gaining strength in the 1790s is a group that favors a more modest central government. Both points of view are represented in Washington's cabinet. Alexander Hamilton, an avowed Federalist, has an elaborate economic plan to build the resources of the nation. Thomas Jefferson is suspicious of a strong central government. The two sides argue over the concept of a national bank, the national debt issue, the permanent location for a capitol, even the French Revolution. Washington is the unifying force, but after eight years as president, he announces his intention to leave public office.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Conlan, Timothy, Ph.D., George Mason University

Onuf, Peter S., Ph.D., Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor, University of Virginia


Download the transcript for this video below:

Check Your Understanding
10 questions
Section 7: The New Republic and Industrial Transformation (1790-1850)
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapters 08 & 09

OpenStax College, U.S. History. (© 2014 Rice University)

Download full text book for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11740/latest/

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KEY TERMS

artisan - skilled, experienced worker who produces specialized goods by hand

Bill of Rights - the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, which guarantee individual rights

Citizen Genêt affair - the controversy over the French representative who tried to involve the United States in France's war against Great Britain

Cumberland Road - a national highway that provided thousands with a route from Maryland to Illinois

Democratic-Republicans - advocates of limited government who were troubled by the expansive domestic policies of Washington's administration and opposed the Federalists

deskilling - breaking an artisanal production process into smaller steps that unskilled workers can perform

Erie Canal - a canal that connected the Hudson River to Lake Erie and markets in the West

free moral agency - the freedom to change one's own life and bring about one's own salvation

impressment - the practice of capturing sailors and forcing them into military service

labor theory of value - an economic theory holding that profits from the sale of the goods produced by workers should be equitably distributed to those workers

land offices - sites where prospective landowners could buy public land from the government

letters of marque - French warrants allowing ships and their crews to engage in piracy

Louisiana Purchase - the U.S. purchase of the large territory of Louisiana from France in 1803

machine tools - machines that cut and shape metal to produce standardized, interchangeable parts for mechanical devices such as clocks or guns

Marbury v. Madison - the landmark 1803 case establishing the Supreme Court's powers of judicial review, specifically the power to review and possibly nullify actions of Congress and the president

Mohawk and Hudson Railroad - the first steam-powered locomotive railroad in the United States

putting-out system - a labor system whereby a merchant hired different families to perform specific tasks in a production process

Revolution of 1800 - the peaceful transfer of power from the Federalists to the Democratic-Republicans with the election of 1800

specie - “hard” money, usually in the form of gold and silver coins

the Terror - a period during the French Revolution characterized by extreme violence and the execution of numerous enemies of the revolutionary government, from 1793 through 1794

Working Men's Party - a political group that radically opposed what they viewed as the exploitation of workers

XYZ affair - the French attempt to extract a bribe from the United States during the Quasi-War of 1798–1800

04:26

The Presidential Election of 1796

The presidential election of 1796 is the first partisan election in the nation's history. As it unfolds, it is a contest not only between the emerging Republican party and the Federalists, but a battle among the Federalists themselves. When John Adams, Washington's vice president, narrowly wins the electoral ballot, his opponent Thomas Jefferson is awarded the vice presidential post. Adams has a difficult road to follow as George Washington's successor. The European nations are at war and fundamental domestic issues, including a disloyal cabinet, have to be resolved


Dawidoff, Robert, Ph.D., Maguire Professor of History, Claremont Graduate University

Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University

Onuf, Peter S., Ph.D., Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor, University of Virginia


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03:05

The Troubled Presidency of John Adams

In the early months of Adams' term, the French government captures American ships and crews. When Adams' negotiators are rebuffed, the president cuts off trade with France and orders preparations for war. Hamilton and other Federalists see this as an opportunity to build the country's military capacity with new taxes. A series of Alien and Sedition Acts are enacted as well, giving government the authority to deport aliens and imprison those who publish treasonous materials. Jefferson openly breaks with the president and tries to get states to oppose the Alien and Sedition Acts with legislation of their own. Meanwhile, after winning a number of sea battles against France, Adams again sends a commission to Paris to negotiate an end to the Quasi War.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University

Onuf, Peter S., Ph.D., Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor, University of Virginia


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02:40

Presidential Election of 1800

Bitter controversies shape the presidential election of 1800. The candidates are the same as four years earlier—Adams versus Jefferson—but personal attacks during the campaign are unprecedented. In a close race New York emerges as the crucial swing state, an election battle manipulated by Aaron Burr. The electoral college numbers end in a tie, however, and the decision is left to the House of Representatives. On the 36th ballot, Jefferson wins the presidency.


Jacobson, Gary, Ph.D., University of California--San Diego, author of The Logic of American Politics

Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University, general editor for The Papers of Thomas Jefferson

Onuf, Peter S., Ph.D., Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor, University of Virginia

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


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03:54

Jefferson’s Presidency, Early Years

Just before Jefferson takes office, Congress reduces the number of justices on the Supreme Court by one and expands the number of federal judgeships. Adams takes advantage of his last days as president to appoint a number of Federalists to these new posts. Despite lingering resentments about the election of 1800, the transfer of power from Adams to Jefferson is relatively peaceful. Jefferson attempts to build coalitions, attempting to pay down the nation's debt through tariff taxes alone. Although the central government becomes less powerful during Jefferson's administration, people still ask for federal support and federal jobs.


Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University, general editor for The Papers of Thomas Jefferson

Onuf, Peter S., Ph.D., Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor, University of Virginia

Wall, Helena, Ph.D., Day Professor of History, Pomona College, author of Fierce Communion


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:20

Emergence of a Stronger Judiciary under Justice Marshall

The last minute appointments by the Adams' administration sets the stage for the emergence of a stronger judiciary under the leadership of John Marshall. When the Jeffersonians come into power they repeal the last-minute actions of the previous Congress and impeach some of the judges. Constant battles are waged over the judiciary, the most powerful of which is Marbury v. Madison. In this historic decision, the Supreme Court rules that Congress had exceeded it's authority, thus confirming the principle of judicial review.


Melnick, R. Shep, Ph.D., O’Neill Professor of American Politics, Boston College, author of Taking Stock

Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University, general editor for The Papers of Thomas Jefferson


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02:35

Jefferson as Administrator

Jefferson avoids Adams' mistakes in selecting his cabinet, appointing such talented administrators as Albert Gallatin and James Madison who share his views. In his first administration the Republicans control both houses of Congress, and Jefferson brilliantly manages relationships with the legislative branch, Historians regard Jefferson as an outstanding administrator and skilled party politician, yet at the same time a radical idealist. As a result, his reputation keeps shifting and people view him in many different ways.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams University Professor, Harvard University, author of Voyagers to the West

Oberg, Barbara, Ph.D., Princeton University, general editor for The Papers of Thomas Jefferson

Onuf, Peter S., Ph.D., Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor, University of Virginia


Download the transcript for this video below:

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